Monday, 22 October 2012

Gambling For The Future

Not much going on Council wise for a while and the only meeting worth commenting on is tomorrows Overview and Scrutiny meeting. I wont be able to attend this meeting so there wont be a report.

First issue to be tackled is the Draft Economic Strategy published by the Thanet Regeneration Board. Part of the problem with this report is that while it does have details, its not particularly new. Increasing Apprenticeships isn't a new idea and similarly increasing the skill levels of workers is something that exists in any case. Parts relating to high streets has already been heard about via the Town Team process. The Destination Management Plan is a new one but will it be anything more than a dressed-up Tourism strategy? Especially when you consider that the people making up the Destination Management group are likely to be the very same people who put this report together in the first place, it begs the question, what's new?

This report collates all these actions and puts them together as a package which is good in terms of seeing what is being done at present but certainly cant be described as setting a new direction for growth. I'm not dismissing this report out of hand because as I say it does pull together the various bits together but there is a real risk of it being a lot of talk and little new added in the action department.

Localisation of Council Tax Discounts Scheme up next with the consultation responses an annex to the OSP documents. This will be debated (according to the Forward Plan) by Cabinet next month and Council in December so this one has a way to run. Interesting to note in the consultation responses is the revelation that three of the respondents state their religion as Jedi! With more information to come out on the impact of this upon Council finances before Christmas I will hold fire for a little while.

Gambling afterwards where the Council policy comes round for OSP review and then onto the the Forward Plan. The draft Budget papers are due to appear next month at Cabinet.

We finish in private session with discussion of the Royal Sands Development Agreement. This relates to the call-in earlier this year where Overview wanted a report back on the various aspects brought up previously. Officially there will be no public information save for the minutes but I'm sure the details will come out at some point.

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